October 08, 2016
As long as you're taking in some college football action this Saturday afternoon/evening, here are some players who could make some sense for the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2017 NFL Draft.
To note, the Eagles currently have eight draft picks in the 2017 NFL Draft, listed here.
The last two seasons, Indiana has gotten excellent production from their lead running backs:
|Tevin Coleman (2014)||270||2036||7.5||15|
|Jordan Howard (2015)||196||1213||6.2||9|
The Indiana offensive line has had a lot to do with that, particularly RG Dan Feeney. You can see a good film breakdown of Feeney by Alex Robbins of Crimson Quarry.
Feeney is the consensus best guard prospect in the country. While the Eagles need to continue to bolster their offensive line, their guard spots are less of a concern than the were a year ago, with the addition of Brandon Brooks, the vastly improved play of Allen Barbre, and the selection of Isaac Seumalo in the 2016 NFL Draft. Still, Barbre will be 33 next June and Seumalo could be slated as the center of the future, so the Eagles will at least have to consider what Feeney can do for their run game.
In the 2015 NFL Draft, the Seminoles lost QB Jameis Winston, RB Karlos Williams, C Cameron Erving, OG Tre' Jackson, OT Bobby Hart, WR Rashad Greene, and TE Nick O'Leary. Cook was the focus of opposing defenses, and he still ran for a ridiculous 7.4 yards per carry. His numbers:
Cook is a complete back, who has power and speed, as well as the ability to make plays in the passing game out of the backfield. Perhaps his best strength is his combination of vision and lateral quickness to find (and hit) open holes, which is on display in the highlight reel below:
There aren't any obvious flaws in Cook's game. With his ability to be a weapon in the passing game, Cook would be an excellent fit in Doug Pederson's offense. Of course, the Minnesota Vikings' season would have to fall apart to some degree, because Cook won't be available late in the first round.
Texas A&M has a loaded group of receivers. Sophomore Christian Kirk is thought to be the best eventual prospect of the bunch, Ricky Seals-Jones is a size freak, at 6'5, 240, and Speedy Noil is a Josh Huff type, with a compact frame and YAC skills. However, Reynolds is by far the most productive of the four so far this season:
|Texas A&M receivers||Rec||Yards||YPC||TD|
Reynolds has a vertical element to his game (see his YPC) in addition to ability to use his size to make contested catches, shown here:
Obviously, the Eagles can use more playmakers at wideout.
Reeves-Maybin is undersized at 6'0, 225, which seems to be less of a concern to Jim Schwartz than it was in the Chip Kelly regime. After all, the Eagles recently signed Schwartz favorite Stephen Tulloch, who is 5'11.
Reeves-Maybin's skill set more closely resembles Mychal Kendricks, although his enthusiasm for the game mirrors Tulloch's.
In high school, Reeves-Maybin was a stud running back, and in his recruiting profile, his position was categorized as "athlete." Tennessee initially played him at safety, before moving him linebacker.
In 2015, Reeves-Maybin led the Volunteers with 105 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, and was second on the team with 6 sacks. He's a fun player to watch. He is a terrific blitzer, he does an outstanding job of recognizing and blowing up screens, and his play speed on the field is obvious.
Here's a short highlight reel:
Kendricks' role so far this season has been limited to the base defense, and his snaps are way down. Next offseason, the Eagles could explore a trade of Kendricks, as he has clearly fallen out of favor to some degree with Schwartz. Reeves-Maybin could be a far cheaper replacement.
Pumphrey leads the nation in rushing, with 750 rushing yards. He is a very non-traditional rushing leader, at 5'8, 180 pounds, and he might remind some of Darren Sproles for his ability as a receiver.
This is far from his first productive year, as Pumphrey topped 1650 yards in each of the last two seasons:
In fact, earlier this season, Pumphrey broke Marshall Faulk's career rushing record at San Diego State. Pumphrey also has good receiving numbers over his career:
A highlight reel:
Earlier this offseason, Sproles said that 2017 will likely be his last year in the NFL. While Pumphrey does not return kicks and punts like Sproles, he can be an eventual replacement in the middle rounds for what Sproles does in the regular offense.
Follow Jimmy on Twitter: @JimmyKempski